For his Fall/Winter 2020 womenswear collection, Virgil Abloh further develops Off-White’s codes with a sense of contemporary realism, beyond the hems of the fashion industry. He looks at the world at large.
To set the pace, Abloh ventured back to the nineties—a definitive sartorial era—by compiling references from then-ubiquitous minimal slip-dresses and bra tops to Hype Williams’s 1998 directorial film debut, Belly.
Williams is widely known for his innovative and Zeitgeist-capturing music videos, which blend technology, fashion, and uncompromising individuality; in Belly, keystone late nineties-era hallmarks like red leather Ecko puffers and original-design all-white Range Rovers take centerstage. The view towards a more recent nostalgia hints at a collective comfort regarding what has passed—especially when the future feels so unpredictable.
From there, Abloh used the nineties as a springboard for helping to define what Off-White will be in the 2020’s. His approach is one of calculated miscellany, mirroring the moment and pushing that moment forward.
Bookending his Fall runway were hybridized, high-volume dresses with Arc’teryx parkas. Myriad trenches came paired with trousers, which were generally long and lean, with breaks at the ankle. Holstein blot motifs walked alongside circular cutout separates; heavy chain elements were worked in as jewelry or dress adornments. Extra-tailored leather blazers featured spray-painted overlays.
Houndstooth patterns morphed into psychedelic pools on top-coats and skirts. An angular tulle wing-and-half-dress was worn over camouflage cargo pants. A collaboration with MGM studios led to a Blue Velvet-inspired capsule: a structured, off-the-shoulder dress in the fabric the movie is named for, along with mirror-ball metallic garments that channel Dorothy Vallens’s glitzier ensembles.
Akin to what’s happening in culture greater, we are now living in an era of openness, constant newness, hyper-information, and the pressing need for adaptability: “Reality,” says Abloh, “is the starting point of my type of storytelling.”
Thu, March 5 2020 » Fashion Blog
Sat, February 1 2020 » Fashion Blog
“The fundamental concept is to illustrate a woman’s power. To show that her spirit is indestructible by natural forces. She can withstand a “meteor shower” both metaphorically and physically speaking”
Unexpected impacts. Evolutionary jolts. Collisions of matter, and ideas.
For Spring, Virgil Abloh tampers with convention, expressing a desire to push the conversations around fashion, streetwear and modern dressing forward. Clothes do not define the Off-White woman; vintage luxury or new, they’re the same. The garments, rather, become tools and materials that help fortify this woman’s dynamism and resilience.
Abloh continues with an inspiration based in nature after Resort, but interjects a new aesthetic element: one of extraterrestrial force, of meteor showers, and of the unlikely beauty in the order-and-chaos they make.
Patterns are twisted and warped; contrasting fabrics are joined; netting and unusual draping methods are fused to generate new surfaces. Spring is not a reset, but rather, a transformation in context and space.
This season sees the introduction of the Meteor Shower Jitney, Spring’s hero piece. The Jitney bag is a core Off-White product, but the Meteor Shower stands apart; it is perforated with holes in a graphic rendering of craters formed by falling rock. It is a non-functioning object (though it comes with a usable pouch), and it challenges the bedrock understanding of what, exactly, a bag is. It instantaneously kicks dust into the proverbial atmosphere of categorical separation; whether carrier, sculpture, or decor item, the Meteor Shower Jitney asserts that Abloh is seeking to further chart the gray areas between creative disciplines. The perforations also set a new branding system for Off-White.
Augmenting the suggestion of shooting stars and the unforeseen, Spring holds a collaboration with Roman and Erwan Bouroullec. The Bouroullec brothers are Paris-based industrial designers, with experience in medias ranging from jewelry to architecture to photography and video. For Off-White, they have applied a linear print—mirroring slices of shale amplified beneath a microscope—to shirting, overcoats, and handbags.
The hole motif also serves as an ironic homage to Abloh’s alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. In the state, athletics fans wear “cheesehead” hats and helmets, as Wisconsin is historically known for its dairy products. The hats are a common, if eccentric, sight at sporting events.
Wed, October 2 2019 » Fashion Blog
The Off-White Men’s Spring Summer 2020 collection has been christened “PLASTIC,” a metaphor for the mass produced material and the double meaning it has taken in modern society. The show itself at Le Carreau du Temple on Wednesday morning was an ironic play on the material.
Key looks defining the collection include sublime plastic raingear meshed with various washes of denim, a snow-white longline coat layered upon matching tee and trousers sprayed with vivid graffiti strokes and alien Pointman figure, marled knits and soft, colorful suiting with pops of tie-dye – shown by models floating through fields of poppy flowers in shades of white.
The color scheme of soft yet vibrant hues of blue, red and yellows and undertones of white and grey celebrated the collection’s beautiful variability. As is typical to the brand, the SS20 collection’s custom graffiti prints were created in collaboration with New York artist Futura, whom Virgil Abloh spoke very highly of moments before the show. “Lenny McGurr”.
Virgil Abloh explained: “in his lifetime, and in the culture that we come from which is a segment of hip-hop and graffiti, [his work] started out being seen as a form of vandalism, not art… but as well as painting on the side of subway trains he was part of the scene and showed with Basquiat and Keith Haring… he was on what was once thought of as the fringe… but now, through time we can see that the beauty of Basquiat is also the beauty of Lenny, Futura.”
Off-White x Nike Dunk Low’s unveiled on the runway, which were also a collaboration with Futura Laboratories. The collection and collaboration with Futura is a celebration of counterculture and acknowledging sustainability – continuing Off-White’s ideal in embracing the now in an sophisticated, innovative manner.
Sat, June 22 2019 » Fashion Blog
Tue, March 5 2019 » Fashion Blog